If you are a customer of eight public sector banks (PSBs), which are merging, you will need to take certain steps.

The eight banks targeted by the merger are Vijaya Bank, Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank, Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Dena Bank.

Depending on the bank, there may be a change in account number, checkbook, cards, Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Code (MICR).

Checkbooks

From April 1, the check books of the merged banks will no longer be valid. You will need to get new checkbooks from the Anchor Banks (in which others are merged).

According to the banks’ websites, for example, the check books of the Oriental Bank of Commerce and the United Bank of India will only be valid until March 31. The two banks are merged with the Punjab National Bank.

Some banks might also offer more time for customers, as the Reserve Bank of India has allowed some banks to keep old check books for a quarter or two. For example, Syndicate Bank customers can use their check books until June 30.

You will need to monitor the progress of your banks to know when can you continue to use check books. However, if you have submitted any post-dated checks, you will need to replace them with a new one as soon as you receive the new checkbook.

If possible, before the merger, obtain an updated statement of your account and keep it.

Money transfer

Even so, the IFSC and MICR codes will change for some banks and remain the same for others.

In some banks, like Union Bank of India, the account number has not changed. Only the IFSC code has changed. Every bank migration is different.

You will need to check with your bank again what has changed and what has not. As a result, you will need to change your ECS instructions for loans and other payments such as life insurance and mutual fund investments.

If there is a lack of clarity and the ECS bounces, be sure to transfer the money online to your loan account so that the lending bank does not report you as overdue.

Deposits and loans

If you have taken out a loan from the merging banks, the anchor bank will streamline the process. For some, there might be updated terms and conditions and prices. If you are not yet informed, check with the bank.

As for term deposits, banks will not change interest rates mid-term. But when renewing, the anchor bank can align the rates with theirs.

With most banks, customers can continue to use their old cards until they expire, after which the new bank cards will be issued.

The merger causes problems for customers. But make it your responsibility to keep track of all the information. Getting the bank to work will be difficult and will require more effort. You should be proactive now.

(Do you have personal finance questions? Send them to [email protected] and get answers from industry experts).

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